Who was Tchaikovsky

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What happened today - August 9th, 1877 Tchaikovsky hates his wife

08.08.2018 from Sylvia Schreiber

"The hatred of my wife is growing from hour to hour" - these are not necessarily words of happiness that the newly wed Peter Tchaikovsky writes about his wife Antonina Ivanovna. Instead of on his honeymoon, he is on the run from his wife with pretended health problems and is wondering whether a suicide could end the terrible situation.

Image source: picture-alliance / akg-images

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Tchaikovsky's wife has no idea, buys furniture for the shared apartment, has domestic workers deploy and builds a middle-class, luxurious family nest in Moscow. Tchaikovsky himself lived through the first days of his marriage more delirious than ecstatic:

A horrible life. I drink a lot of wine. And the intoxication gives me a few minutes to forget.
Tchaikovsky on his marriage

Tchaikovsky's self-deception

Has he been mistaken in the nature of the bride? Did the ring on her finger turn her into a fury? No, Tchaikovsky was mistaken: "I confidently believed that I would be able to come to love someone who was so devoted to me."

Peter Tschaikowsky actually loves the Russian violinist Jossif Kotek (left) | Image source: Wikimedia Commons He believed rather confidently that he could deny his homosexuality by marrying. But Tchaikovsky cannot even develop friendly feelings for Antonina - only disgust and aversion arise. It paralyzes his creativity, she does not leave him hours in comforting solitude. She argues, she has limited views, her nature is alien to him, she is vicious, grim, lying ... the list of silent reproaches is getting longer by the day.

Death as a last resort?

In complete desperation, Tchaikovsky seeks death in September - he climbs into the Moscow River to catch pneumonia in the ice-cold water. Instead, he has a nervous breakdown. He will then never have to lead a married life again, the two separate. However, there is no divorce from his hated wife Antonina.

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